Kofi Annan

26 September 2003, New York

Secretary-General's remarks at a reception hosted by the Greek Mission to the United Nations on "Olympic Truce : Sport for Peace"

Excellencies and dear friends,

I am very pleased to join so many friends, including the President of the General Assembly, Foreign Minister Papandreou, and all of you from the Olympic Movement, to mark the introduction of this session's item on “Building a better world through sport and the Olympic ideal”.

Since the ancient games were revived in Greece in 1896, the four-year cycle has only been interrupted twice –by the guns of world war.

The call to observe the Olympic Truce is an appeal for the Games to silence the guns –all over the world.

26 September 2003, New York

Secretary-General and Quartet members at press conference following Quartet Meeting (unofficial transcript)

SG: On behalf of the Quartet, I wish to read out a very brief summary of the Quartet meeting. [The full text of the statement follows this press conference transcript]

The Quartet members view with great concern the situation in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Each party must do more to address, immediately and simultaneously, the core concerns of the other, as described in the Road Map. The Quartet members reaffirm their commitment to the Road Map and to resumed progress by the parties toward its rapid implementation.

26 September 2003, New York

Secretary-General and Quartet members at press conference following Quartet meeting (unofficial transcript)

SG: On behalf of the Quartet, I wish to read out a very brief summary of the Quartet meeting. [The full text of the statement follows this press conference transcript]

The Quartet members view with great concern the situation in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Each party must do more to address, immediately and simultaneously, the core concerns of the other, as described in the Road Map. The Quartet members reaffirm their commitment to the Road Map and to resumed progress by the parties toward its rapid implementation.

25 September 2003, New York

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Secretary-General is gratified at the successful conclusion of the high-level meeting convened by him today, which brought together leaders of the Governments of Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. He welcomes the declaration, following the meeting, of the Principles on Good-Neighbourly Relations and Cooperation.

25 September 2003, New York

Secretary-General's statement at the high-level meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Excellencies,

I am glad to see you all here today. I take your presence as a sign of your strong desire to achieve lasting peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Congolese people have endured one of the bloodiest conflicts in modern history, a conflict in which the entire region has been involved. Millions have been killed or brutalized. In parts of the country, millions still live a precarious existence.

25 September 2003, New York

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the downsizing of UN staff in Iraq

The Secretary-General, on the advice of his Security Coordinator, has ordered a temporary redeployment of UN international staff in Iraq.

Today there remain 42 in Baghdad and 44 in the north of the country, and those numbers can be expected to shrink further over the next few days.

This is not an evacuation, just a further downsizing, and the security situation in the country remains in constant review.

Meanwhile our essential humanitarian activities in Iraq continue, thanks to the efforts of our more than 4,000 national staff in the country.

25 September 2003, New York

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in Sudan

The Secretary-General was encouraged by the news that today the Government of the Republic of the Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) initialed a framework agreement on the security arrangements for the interim period. He highly commends the commitment and personal efforts of First Vice-President of the Sudan, Mr. Ali Osman Taha, and Chairman of the SPLM/A, Mr. John Garang, who have been engaged in direct talks in Naivasha, Kenya, for over three weeks.

25 September 2003, New York

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the death of Dr. Akila al-Hashemi

The Secretary-General was very sad to learn of the death of Dr Akila al-Hashemi, the member of the Iraqi Governing Council who was attacked last Saturday. He considers such murderous use of violence wholly inexcusable, and likely only to retard the process of establishing a broad-based and representative government in Iraq, to which sovereignty can be transferred. He sends his sincere condolences to Dr. al-Hashemi's family, and to the Governing Council.

25 September 2003, New York

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the death of Edward Said

The Secretary-General heard with great sadness of the death of Edward Said, the distinguished Palestinian-American writer and scholar who did so much to explain the Islamic world to the West, and vice versa. While not sharing all of Professor Said's opinions, the Secretary-General always enjoyed his company, savoured his wit, and admired the passion with which he pursued his vision of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Both the Middle East and the United States will be the poorer without his distinctive voice.

25 September 2003, New York

Secretary-General's address to the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr. Chairman, let me thank you for bringing us together this morning, and also to applaud your leadership at these difficult times.

Many of the statements by world leaders in the General Assembly these past three days have expressed the need for stronger international solidarity, greater respect for collective decisions, and greater determination to put them into effect.